The relationship between the Pentagon and its suppliers is supported by detailed procurement regulations that touch on every aspect of the defense contracting business. Yet the Defense Department knows little about many of its lower tier suppliers deep down in the value chain. Industry experts warn that the Pentagon’s lax grip on the outer layers of its supply system makes it increasingly vulnerable to intrusions such as malicious hacking. A defense industry workshop concluded that the Pentagon’s exceedingly complex supplier base is riddled with soft spots, and the potential consequences range from exposing weapons systems to counterfeit electronics, to misdeliveries or losses of equipment. A group of 70 Pentagon officials and industry executives met last fall at the Washington, D.C., law firm Holland & Knight for the one-day workshop, where they examined several risk scenarios that could disrupt Defense Department programs and operations.